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Request from State Senator Morris Hood

State Senator Morris Hood District 3 is wanting to connect with a few individuals to see if they would be interested in participating in a short video clip regarding Senate Bills 200 and 201 that would increase penalties for assaulting sports officials.
Some questions that each official would be asked during the video:
1.    What is your personal story regarding fan / parent aggression?
2.    Why do you think this bill would help?
3.    What does this bill mean to you?
4.    What would the bill mean for the future of sports?
5.    What would the bill mean for the future of referee recruits?
6.    What could the future of sports look like if nothing is done to help stop aggression against referees?
7.    What lesson is aggression against referees teaching our children?
Please contact Nathan Kark, Chief of Staff, if you are interested.
NKark@senate.michigan.gov
ph  (517) 373-1254

Football Finals Opportunity

The 2017 Football State Finals will be at Ford Field on November 24 & 25.  The Metro Detroit Athletic Officials Association INC. has been asked to provide assistance in hosting the Football Finals by providing Line to Gain Crews for the games. This is a great way to take part in the action and to give something back to the great game of High School Football.  If you are interested in serving as a member (voluntary basis) of the chain crew during these exciting games please sign up with Bob Williams robert.williams@uofdjesuit.org no later than October 12th.
There will be four (4) crews made up of four (4) officials on each crew.  The crew assigned would work two (2) games. Free Parking and  weekend credentials will be issued by the MHSAA.

Official’s Assault Legislation Update

Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee voted favorably to send sports officials assault legislation to the whole Senate for a vote, with a recommendation that the bills, if enacted, be given immediate effect.  The measure passed by a 3-1 vote with one abstention.  The bills, SB 200 and 201, are at the same point where they stalled two years ago.  We need to get them considered by the Senate as a whole.  The way to do this is by putting some pressure on individual senators and, particularly, Senator Meekhof, the Majority Leader.  A letter writing (email) and telephone campaign from officials can help.

 We urge you to contact your State Senator and Senator Meekhof by email, letter and/or telephone to ask their support.  Here is a link to identify your Senator and obtain contact information:  http://www.senate.michigan.gov/fysbyaddress.html.  Below is the outline of a letter you may use as a guide:

Dear Senator,

 I am a resident of ________ and a sports official.  I have officiated the sport(s) of __________________ for __ years.  I write to urge you to bring SB 200 and 201 to a vote by the Senate as a whole and support their passage.  These bills enhance penalties for assaults committed against sport officials.

 Assaults against sports officials have increased dramatically in frequency and severity over the past several years.  I am sure you are aware of the recreational league soccer official, John Bieniewicz, who was killed on the field in Livonia by a punch from an angry player: http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/07/michigan-senate-panel-increases-penalties-assault-referees/98872232/.  We need this legislation now.  Young people are not becoming officials, or drop out soon after starting, because of the increasing violence and abuse referees and umpires endure.  This threatens the long-term viability of youth, recreational and school sports programs throughout the state.

 I urge you to support these bills.